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Cinema/TV, Dracula, Film Notes

Your Daily Dracula – Steve Howey as Stan Helsing, Stan Helsing (2009)

Your Daily Dracula – Steve Howey as Stan Helsing, Stan Helsing (2009)

‘From the executive producer of Scary Movie’, blares the DVD cover – trumpeting the directorial debut of Bo Zenga, who also wrote Soul Plane.  The results are predictably dispiriting, landing this in that no-longer-exlcusive category of supposed comedies which don’t contain a single honest laugh.  This has to include the subtitle ‘A Parody’ for anyone who didn’t notice, or perhaps to avoid being sued into the Stone Age by Universal Pictures – though it demonstrated its slowness off the mark by coming along five years after Van Helsing.

DVD rental store slacker Stan Helsing (Steve Howey) denies any relationship with the famous monster hunter Van Helsing — and probably would also resist any suggestion that his describing-porn-titles-over-the-phone schtick is stolen from Kevin Smith.  On Halloween Night, Stan gets into a car with his uptight ex-girlfriend Nadine (Diora Baird), his fat pal Teddy (Kenan Thompson) and Teddy’s blonde dolt girlfriend Mia (Desi Lydic) to go to a party downtown.  He had agreed to drop off some DVDs with his boss’s mother, which takes the quartet – all in silly costimes (cowboy, Indian, superman, stripper) – to a gated community built on the ruins of a burned-out horror film studio which is troubled by the presence of parodied (barely) franchise fiends Fweddy (Ben Cotton), Needlehead (Charles Zuckerman), Lucky (Jeff Gulka), Mason (Ken Kirzinger, who played Jason in Freddy vs Jason), Michael Crier (Lee Tichon) and Pleatherface (Twan Holliday) plus a Hitcher (Travis MacDonald) who references TCM rather than the Hitcher.

Oddly, the only specific slasher which is parodied is Jeepers Creepers as the characters crawl down a pipe and find sewn-up victims in a cave – perhaps because Zenga actually saw that film, but is relying on dim memories or second-hand reports when it comes to presenting the rest of the slashers (none of whom get anything to do, let alone anything funny).  It all boils down to a karaoke contest between the monsters (who riff on the Village People) and the normals, with the fate of the town at stake.  Leslie Nielsen appears in drag as a waitress, demonstrating some excruciating comedy stylings – the point in Airplane! was that he played it straight, whereas too many of his later ‘funny’ roles cast him as just another rubbish rubberface doing fart gags and drag acts in a desperate pursuit of yocks that aren’t there.

The Frankenstein Monster (John DeSantis) appears as a gay pornstar, though Zenga’s many gay references (including the Chucky-like Lucky being gang-raped by other dolls) are mostly cut and confined to the deleted scenes.  Three vampire women (the only Dracula reference in this supposed Van Helsing skit) show up as pole-dancers (most of their nudity is also trimmed).  There are bits for Michael Jackson and Barack Obama lookalikes, which don’t really count as jokes.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Your Daily Dracula – Steve Howey as Stan Helsing, Stan Helsing (2009)

  1. I have heard the argument that there are no ‘guilty pleasures’ in film. Because if you are entertained and get something, regardless of how rubbish the film is then why wshould one feel guilty about it? This film is a guilty pleasure of mine.
    re: Leslie Neilsen. Yes he has made a lot of shit. Even if he doesn’t play it straight in a role, I always found him fun to watch. And regardless of whether or not he plays it straight in a role, he IS a very talented physical comedian. Personally, I think his best role is still in CREEPSHOW.

    Posted by sixthdimensionweb | April 4, 2022, 11:49 am
  2. Obviously, I’m not a professional film critic and have a day job. My justification for constantly watching this film is that after a long day, I need something playing in the background or while i’m on my phone or high (don’t tell anyone) or all three. I slip into this film like a warm bath (Bo Zenga… insert piss joke here). After a long day of installing speakers or lights, it’s much harder to put on, say, a Tarkovsky film or exploring the far reaches of cinema to enrich my brain. I save that for the weekend when I’m in a different space. Of course there are better genre films out there for me, I could sit down and cut through that Christopher Box set from Severin but personally I regard that experience on the same level as imbibing Arthouse cinema or ‘quality’ cinema. Sometimes, you just want a big mac.

    Posted by sixthdimensionweb | April 4, 2022, 11:57 am

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